The association between cognitive ability across the lifespan and health literacy in old age: The Lothian Birth Cohort 1936

Catherine Murray, Wendy Johnson, Michael S. Wolf, Ian J. Deary*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three hundred and four participants in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 study took a validated IQ-type test at age 11. years and a battery of cognitive tests at age 70. years. Three tests of health literacy were completed at age 72. years; the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM), the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA), and the Newest Vital Sign (NVS). Participants who had a lower childhood IQ exhibited poorer performance on all three tests of health literacy taken in older adulthood. Relative cognitive change from age 11 to 70 and education were also important factors influencing performance on health literacy tasks, independent of childhood cognitive ability. It is important to understand the determinants of low health literacy in order to support individuals in managing their own health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
JournalIntelligence
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Cognitive change
  • Health literacy
  • Health outcomes
  • IQ
  • Old age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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